Mixed reactions have continued to trail the alleged feud between President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. The spokesperson of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin and elder statesman, Tanko Yakassai, said the appointment of former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen and the removal of Lawan Daura, former Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS) by Osinbajo, were the root cause of his ‘travails’.
Odumakin told Daily Sun that the recent bill signed by President Buhari which was taken to him in London by his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, is a deliberate action by the presidency to ‘send a message’ that Osinbajo is ‘out of power’. He said the vice president was made redundant after he removed Daura, an ally of President Buhari while he was acting president.
“It is very clear that Osinbajo is out of this government only that they have not removed him because there is a constitutional process required to get him out. Some of the functions of Osinbajo’s office are at the discretion of the president but handing over to the Vice President when the President is away is not discretionary, it is constitutional. Since Osinbajo sacked Lawan Daura, the president has never handed anything to him since that time.
“I was at Ife when Kensington Adebutu was being honoured. Osinbajo was seated right there, but Rauf Aregbesola got up to say he was representing the President. So there is no doubt that the Vice President has been made a figure head in this government and the presidency is showing it clearly. What is the urgency in the bill that Abba Kyari took to London for Buhari to sign if it is not a deliberate act to send a message to Osinabajo that he is out of power?” Odumakin said.
Yakassai also echoed Odumaki’s sentiments. He said that Osinbajo fell out of favour with President Buhari when he confirmed the appointment of the former CJN and sacked Daura.
“From the time when Osinbajo removed Lawan Daura as the Director General of the DSS and also when he nominated Walter Onnoghen for confirmation as the Chief Justice, I suspected that he would not be in the good books of the president . I have been watching very closely and from that time till date, the president has never handed over governance to him to act anytime he travels. I suspected that it didn’t augur well with the presidency that he nominated Onnoghen as the acting CJN. So whether he is being sidelined in the presidency, I don’t know, but I would not be surprised if that happens.
“Buhari was hesitant to confirm Onnoghen as substantive CJN as he was giving acting appointment twice. Why? If somebody is giving acting appointment the first time, there is no big deal there, but if the person is giving acting appointment the second time, then there is a message there. The president was away when the second acting appointment elapsed and Osinbajo who was the acting president had no alternative than to nominate Onnoghen because that is the rule. I don’t know if Osinbajo didn’t consult the president before making that appointment but I think that the president didn’t take it lightly
“When Lawan Daura occupied the National Assembly, as a senior lawyer, Osinbajo didn’t take it lightly because it is unconstitutional and should not be allowed. It amounts to a coup de etat. I know that the removal of Daura didn’t augur well with the presidency because it seemed that the president relied on Daura for some kind of activities. I hear that Daura is still being consulted on many issues even though it is done unofficially.”
On the alleged sack of 35 out of 80 of Osinbajo’s aides, Yakassai said; “If it was done without the recommendation of the Vice President, then it is absolutely strange. If those working under are removed without your knowledge, it doesn’t speak well of the relationship. Obasanjo did the same to Atiku but what helped Atiku was that he is a very strong character who was creating opportunities for himself. Most of what he was doing was his own personal business but people saw him being very active all the time. Osinbajo is not a business man so he can’t do that.